My dear friend,
I should have written this long time ago when you first asked me how I had gotten to the point I have and where does the peace come from?
The peace comes from within. It is like a guest, it leaves when the environ ment is not harmonious. How does one cool the raging inferno of grief, insecurity and betrayal? All of which lies within.
I should have analyzed my struggle and looked at my torn fingernails and the skin of my teeth by which I had hung on to sanity in the wallowing quicksand of grief and depression that stood below me ready to swallow me any moment.
I should have written this long time ago………… long before you emptied the bottle of pills that would put you in a dream state from which you perhaps did not want to awaken coupled with the straight shot of vodka which would nail down the fate of your external grief.
I definitely should have written this when you first asked me about my grief and my journey through it.
So here it is:
I had lived all my life thus far with no major catastrophe. Every time something bad happened Allah Almighty rescued me from it in the nick of the moment and I had grown to rely on my Prince Charming and even in the heat of the worst times, at the back of my mind I knew that He would rescue me, that all I had to do was to wait out this difficulty and it would go away.
I thought a lot about each difficulty, made plans, executed them, but never made a major change in life.
One rainy afternoon when the sun was shining with no rainbow the police officers came to my door while I was alone and gave me news which neither my heart not my head believed.
As I sat down on Tariq’s blue computer chair, my head kept saying: this is an error, it will go away, everything will be fine, he is hurt, but he will be okay. I was so calm that it alarmed the officers and they asked if there was someone who they could call to help me. I wondered why I would need anyone to help me? I had my Prince Charming my dear Allah Almighty who had gotten me out of every scrape in my life, why would this be any different?
My heart was hearing what my head was refusing to believe and surely it said………….what the officers had reported to me: “Tariq was deceased”
How could that be I thought, He was alive, vibrant, exuding life with every pore of his being how could he be dead? He had to be alive, because he was going to take care of me when I was old. He had asked me what sort of house I would like to live in and what kind of car I would like to drive when I was old and decrepit. How could he die and abandon me…………to my solitary old age. He was only nineteen.
In the days that ensued, I could just exist and put on a face for the sake of my daughter and my husband but I was seeping blood from every pore of my being, I cried not only with my eyes but also with every inch of my being.
One thing I knew instinctively that I must not do…and that was to blame my Prince Charming for not bailing me out this time.
As the people left, I went back to work, the pain was so intense and so present in all my waking moments that I went to see a psychiatrist who gave me antidepressants. I took them and went to sleep, all daylong all I thought was of my bed and when I could get into it.
Nothing and no one mattered. People sent us books on how other children had died at a young age, some of drug overdoses and some of accidents. Why they thought that would be comforting to me, I don’t know. Perhaps they were welcoming me to the grief club, and I wanted no part of it because I was waiting for my rescue.
The fact that other young people had also died, at this point was immaterial to me. I went from day to day bereft of life itself, of the essence of joy and beauty. I looked for it in his friends, in my friends, in photos, in videos, but the celluloid and the surrogate relationships could not fulfill his absence and I loitered in the valley of grief like a lost person who neither knew or cared to get out of it.
When everything failed, and life went on, and the pain was continuously excruciating, I was neither dying from it nor living with it, I turned to my Prince Charming……..and asked Him to help me.
Help came unbeknownst to me in ways that to this day I do not even know the method.
It came in the form of knowledge and action.
Knowledge of creation, destiny and fate, and my place in the world in relationship to others.
Action came in the form of submission. I fought it tooth and nail…….because I did not wish to submit completely to anyone, it was anathema to me to become so subservient to anyone, even if it was to…………..My Prince Charming.
Thus began my journey in search of peace and away from pain.
I wish I had at least told you this beginning for me as the story is long and involved, but even this much may have assured you that I have been where you are now……………minus the pills and the vodka.
(to be continued)